Life, Once Again! - Chapter 712
Koo Ando was the president of the film production club. Last year, the film production club was closer to being a film appreciation club, but ever since Kang Sora entered as a new member, they changed lanes. The scene of the members eating snacks in the clubroom had disappeared, and they were now a club where they passionately put their efforts into creating a film even over the weekend.
It was a little bit of a pity that he could no longer see the cozy film production club of before, but he didn’t regret it because seeing the film production club trying their best to make a film wasn’t so bad. The clubroom had become a lot more bustling than before, and their activity was at an all-time high. The club was colored in a different color from before, and it would become a magnificent memory for the members in the future.
At least that was what he thought until this morning. He smiled in satisfaction as he looked at the photo that they shot with everyone in it on the last day of shooting ‘Classroom’. He thought that the experience was really fun and worthwhile.
“Seonbae. I don’t think this is right.”
Ando felt his lips twitching. This junior had barged into his house at 10 a.m. in the morning on a Sunday and had managed to buy his parents’ goodwill with her smile. He could see the members of the film production club and some of the acting club smiling on his phone screen. To hell with good memories. It had only been two months, but his brain had already started beautifying those events. He remembered the hard times when he had been pushed around here and there and had no days to rest because of the tight schedule that the film director had set up. It wasn’t that he was dissatisfied with everything. There definitely were moments of glee, happiness, and pride. The problem was that 80% of the time, it was exhausting.
“Are these all the clothes you have?”
His brain, which had been slowly beautifying those moments, was currently reminding him of the pains and was shouting at him to get out of this place as soon as possible. Ando glanced at the door. This was his room, and he didn’t know why he couldn’t act, but he felt like he would feel really happy if he could leave this place.
Just then, the door opened 3 seconds after a knocking sound. The one who opened the door was his mother. Ando blinked in confusion. His mother, who had never learned to knock during his lifetime, had quietly knocked and even took out the pretty plates that she never used and had placed them at the top of the cupboard to bring some fruits and snacks.
“Ma’am, you don’t have to do this.”
Sora, who was just going hard on him about how he didn’t have any decent clothes to wear to the award ceremony, had changed her personality and approached his mother. It was that smile. It was that evil smile that made his mother say ‘what a polite girl’ and ‘you should come over more frequently’ within 3 minutes even though a complete stranger had barged in on a Sunday at 10 a.m. This junior shouldn’t have played the role of the director. She should have been an actress. Her act could probably sweep all the acting awards out there.
“Sora, was it?”
“Is it true that my child is getting an award?”
“Of course. Ando-seonbae was the camera director.”
“Yes. It’s not a small prize that the school gives you; it is something that’s given by Seoul’s City Hall itself. And the grand prize that we’re getting is something that is given after a decision made by experts in many different areas so it has a completely different meaning.”
“It is. If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have been able to get the grand prize. He really worked hard after all. Other people were impressed by his efforts and did their best too.”
Ando felt rather queasy about his mother’s eyes. She was clasping her hands and nodding as though she had finally realized her son’s true worth. He couldn’t possibly say that he did everything on the girl’s orders and that everything she was saying was an exaggeration. The only thing he could do was to avoid her gaze with an awkward smile on his face.
“I was wondering what was happening when he kept coming back from school late at night. So he was shooting a film.”
“Didn’t he tell you about it?”
“Do you think boys would tell me things like that? Before, he would tell me about bugs he saw at school in excitement too.”
“That just goes to show that he grew up and became a man. I mean, he’s quite reliable, isn’t he? You must feel proud.”
There had to be someplace to hide in his house…. If possible, Ando wanted to break the window next to his bed like a scene from an espionage movie and leave this place. If his house was not on the 5th floor, and if his window didn’t have anti-theft fences, he might have tried.
“Then take your time here.”
“I want to do that too, but today’s the award ceremony.”
“Ah, right. You said you were here to pick him up. Sora, please take care of our boy.”
“Of course, ma’am. In fact, he would take care of me. His leadership is outstanding.”
Leadership, he had heard that word used to describe him for the first time in his life today. Ando lowered his head as he listened to the mysterious ‘Mr. Koo Ando’ that was being created by the mouths of the two women. Given more time, they might even talk about how Koo Ando created heaven and earth. This girl was more than capable of doing that.
Finally, the door closed. It was a short time that wasn’t even 10 minutes long, but Ando felt exhausted. He remembered when he forgot to hang out his clothes to dry for a night and when he opened the washing machine the next day. He felt like his current state was a little like the crumpled clothes inside it.
“We’re going to take a photo too when we’re there, you know?”
“I can just wear this.”
Ando pointed at the t-shirt that he frequently wore to school.
“Because getting a photo taken while wearing a horribly stretched-out t-shirt is bad. I guess I can’t help it. Let’s go for now.”
Sora folded the clothes that had been taken out.
“What about the clothes?”
“We will buy them outside.”
“Why do you think I came here so early? The award ceremony is at 2, so we still have time. We should go to a clothing store and get some clothes before meeting up with Maru-seonbae.”
Who’s paying for it? – before he could even say those words, he saw Sora take out a credit card.
“Interest-free installment over 5 months. You can pay me back in February, when you graduate.”
Ando reached out and grabbed his t-shirt.
“I’m just going to wear this.”
However, it was a meaningless resistance. He lost strength in his hands even though all Sora did was stare at him. Ando sighed and stood up.
“Get yourself together, camera director,” Sora said as she opened the door.
* * *
Maru looked at his watch. It was 2 minutes past 12. It was the time of the appointment. He looked at the ticket barrier as he grabbed a fish cake skewer in a store inside Yeongdeungpo station. If they were coming from Suwon, they should come out from there.
We’ll be visiting some shops before we meet up with you – these were Sora’s words from when she called. Before he could ask what that was about, he could hear Ando’s stretched-out voice. Maru could picture what happened so he hung up without asking for details.
He saw Sora waving her hand as she walked out of the ticket barrier. Behind her was Ando wearing neat clothes. He always wore a t-shirt and khaki-colored pants, but he was wearing gray-toned clothes today. He had also waxed his hair.
“I knew I didn’t need to worry about you.”
Sora scanned him from top to bottom in satisfaction. He took out a suit that he bought before when he heard that he was going to an award ceremony, but he instead decided to wear a plain cardigan that looked okay to be worn in autumn since the suit looked a little too un-student-like. He did have a sweater he liked, but the weather was still too warm to wear that.
“Koo Ando, you’ve become handsome,” Maru said.
The gray shirt suited him because he was skinny. Ando rubbed his eyebrows and spoke,
“I can’t get used to this. Also, do I really need to do up all the buttons?”
He was used to wearing baggy t-shirts, so it seemed that a shirt that fit him tightly was too awkward for him. He kept touching his face as he looked at the mirror in the restaurant, and he even touched his hair from time to time, but whenever he did that, Sora scolded him to stay still. She looked like a big sister taking care of an immature little brother.
“Why don’t we have lunch and take it slow?” Sora said.
They left the station and followed Sora. She had no hesitation as though she had done her research beforehand. The place they arrived at was a well-known rice noodle restaurant.
“Both of you said you were okay with it the last time I asked, right?”
Maru nodded. He remembered how Sora asked him about this in passing. She really cared about the details as always.
They sat at a table and ordered some dishes.
“Maru-seonbae, I heard that you were shooting another drama these days, right?” Sora asked.
“It’s a mini-series. I was lucky enough to get into it.”
“You must be busy then. Don’t you have a shoot today?”
“Fortunately, there isn’t one today. Also, Ando, give it up now. If you mess up your hair, Sora will nag you about it for the rest of the day.”
Ando, who was touching his hair carefully, looked at Sora with blank eyes. Sora nodded. Ando made a bitter smile and placed his hand obediently on the table.
“I said it suits you.”
“I find it strange.”
“You should make yourself look good, you know? We live in an era where men wear makeup.”
“For celebrities, maybe. Hey, Han Maru, were you interested in things like fashion before you were an actor?”
Maru shook his head at Ando’s question. He lightly ignored Ando’s plea to side with him.
“Don’t regret it when you go to college and learn from her right now. You’ll thank her one day.”
“College is college. If I think about how six months of my salary was spent on this, I feel really sad,” Ando said as he grabbed his shirt.
Not long later, they got their food. As Maru had a lot of udon while shooting the mini-series, he groaned slightly when he saw noodles.
“What is it?”
“How many episodes is the mini-series you’re doing?”
“Then when do you finish your shoot?”
“It depends, but I think it will be around late October to early November.”
“Today’s the 6th of October, so you have around 3 weeks, huh? You’re shooting all four episodes in one month?”
“Usually, when it comes to mini-series, you get about 15 minutes of runtime if you shoot the whole day. But in our case, we don’t have any off-site shoots and do all our shoots in Seoul, so it will take shorter than normal. A full week of tight shooting might be able to get us 2 episodes.”
“You’re quite knowledgeable.”
“I hear about it during the shoot all the time. I just have to listen closely to find out generally about what is happening from the staff.”
“I’ve seen a drama about TV stations before, right? The actors there were treated like kings. But it looks like reality is different, huh?”
“There are actors who do get that treatment. It depends on the actor and the shooting location. But why are you asking all this?”
“Because I’m curious. Though, the most important thing I wanted to ask is whether you have time during the winter holidays.”
“We’re gonna shoot, of course. With Ando-seonbae too.”
Ando, who was eating the cilantro and the noodles together in delight, suddenly looked at Sora with a sour expression. His entire face seemed to be asking ‘what the heck does that mean?’.
“We can’t help it if something happens at that time, but if possible, give us some time. The scenario that Daemyung-seonbae wrote is almost complete.”
Now he understood why she asked about his schedule. Maru stirred the noodles and spoke,
“I don’t 100% plan on participating.”
“I know, but you are going to if you find it interesting, right?”
“Yep. But how is it? I mean, you should have a grasp of it if you worked on it so much.”
Sora tapped on the table and spoke,
“It’s good enough to make me confident that you’ll do it.”
“Then I guess you shouldn’t worry about it.”
Ando, who had been just listening this whole time, suddenly interrupted the conversation and asked what this was all about.
“What do you mean, what is this all about? It means that you’re going to have to work with us and the camera throughout the winter holidays.”
“If you do, I’ll waive the cost for the clothes.”
Maru clearly saw that Ando had glee on his face for a brief moment. It seemed that the clothes he was wearing were pretty expensive.
“I’ll help out. I should have plenty of time.”
Whether that was acceptance of the request or the acceptance of his fate, only he knew. In any case, Ando came to a decision pretty easily.
“But what are you going to do about college, Maru-seonbae? I don’t think you did enough studying.”
“I decided on the thing I wanted to do, so I don’t plan to go to one. If I want to do so later, I will look into it then.”
“Well, that’s true. I heard that famous actors are invited by universities. Or, they just get admitted through donations.”
“That’s for the famous ones. Ando, you’re taking CSATs, right?”
The answer came from Sora instead,
“Ando-seonbae is super leisurely because he passed the non-regular admission already. Isn’t that right, seonbae?”
Ando avoided her gaze, saying that he was busy in his own way.
“No, you aren’t busy. Since we’re at it, come meet me and Daemyung-seonbae tomorrow. And come with us to scout locations.”
“Why should I?”
“Just come with us.”
Maru stared at the two quarreling before eating the slightly bloated noodles. There was an hour until the award ceremony.